As West Ham is set to face Aek in the Conference League round of 16 on Thursday, one particular corner of Cyprus will rejoice the connection between the East London club and its local team.

Few people, in fact, are aware that Enosis Paralimni plays in the same claret and blue as a tribute to West Ham.

The reason dates back to 1969 and to two brothers, Dasos and Dimitris ‘Jim’ Parnerou, who had moved to east London from Paralimni in the late 1940s and become big supporters of West Ham.

“In 1969, Paralimni won promotion to the First Division and the two brothers wanted to do something for the club,” Dasos’ son Marcos told the West Ham website.

“They were playing in blue and white, but my father and uncle were fanatical West Ham supporters and they thought they should play in claret and blue!”

A delegation of West Ham fans and officials, including club legend Mark Noble, paid a visit to Paralimni on Wednesday, prior to the game against Aek to reconnect with the club’s link to Cyprus.

Michael Alexandrou Parnerou, Demetris’ nephew was also present during the event.

“Enosis does not wear these colours by chance. They are the Greek West Ham,” he said.

“After they moved to London in the late 1940’s my uncle and my father opened a café just 200 metres away from Upton Park, West Ham’s home ground.

“Over the years, a lot of players paid regular visits to the café, which eventually turned into a steakhouse.

“Bobby Moore used to come in, as well as Trevor Brooking, Clyde Best, Frank Lampard Sr, Harry Redknapp, all the old boys,” Parnerou said.

Both born in Paralimni, Dasos and Dimitris wanted to help their hometown club when it got promoted to Cyprus’ First Division.

First, they supplied the seeds for one of first pitches in Cyprus to have grass. Then, in 1971, club captain Bobby Moore arranged for the kits West Ham wore in the First Division in the 1970/71 season to be sent to Paralimni, and Enosis wore them in 1971/72.

Parnerou said his family retains close ties with both clubs, with family members based in both London and Paralimni and regularly travelling between the two to attend matches.

“We take a lot of pride in it, because they are our home cities, our clubs and both play in claret and blue,” he said.

“We appreciate neither have done too well this year, but we’re hoping both will stay up this year.

“Our fathers have both passed away now, but the legacy lives on and it’s great for Paralimni.”

Enosis’ vice-president Kyriakos Ttikkis was also present during the event.

“For 50 years now, we’ve been using the same colours, so it’s a very emotional moment for us and a pleasure to have West Ham in Cyprus and for some of the club officials to be here in our venue,” he said.

“It’s a long relationship and one we’re very, very proud of and we have a lot of fans supporting West Ham in our local community.”